This bank tested 90 uses of AI before choosing the top 2, and they benefit customer service and productivity.

Citizens Financial Group has explored more than 90 different use cases for generative artificial intelligence. So far only two have gone into production.

“We really worked to make sure we had the right guardrails and security for our overall use cases,” says Michael Ruttledge, chief information officer at Citizens Financial.

The Rhode Island-based bank says it has taken a thoughtful approach to generative AI, including creating a steering committee to ensure employees don’t go rogue and develop their own projects. The two generative AI use cases that Citizens Financial says will roll out this year include an enterprise search tool that helps customer service representatives answer questions and a GitHub Copilot, developed by Microsoft and OpenAI, to help improve the productivity of the company’s software engineers.

A vast majority of banking organizations are in production or have implemented generative AI use cases, often focused on customer engagement, risk and compliance, information technology, and other support functions.

“Financial services is a technology-driven business,” says Neil Pardasani, managing director and senior partner at Boston Consulting Group. And while financial services starts ahead of many other sectors, he says the industry can also be “a little more cautious in terms of making sure we get it right and that the use cases that come to market always have a human being at the center.” so much”. .”

Many of the industry’s early achievements have been the adoption of generative AI tools to aid customer service. “It’s an easy place to make the business case work, because of the power of the tools,” Pardasani says.

At Citizens Financial, the new generative AI tool that is helping customer representatives does not reach customers directly, as the bank wants to continue testing the responses that are given and remains on the lookout for hallucinations, which are responses that a AI model can produce that are misleading or completely false. “We’re breaking through those barriers, but right now, we don’t feel like we’re ready to go directly to a customer,” Ruttledge says.

With major players like Google and Amazon launching artificial intelligence solutions, as well as thousands of startups, Citizens Financial says it made a safe bet by leveraging the company’s existing relationships with Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, the cloud providers with which it The company works as part of Citizens. ‘Hybrid strategy that also includes Amazon Web Services. “We were able to take advantage of that because we already had a lot of the infrastructure in place,” Ruttledge says.

North American banks are leading AI innovation, according to a recent report released by Evident Insights, which says JPMorgan Chase, Capital One and Royal Bank of Canada are at the forefront of AI innovation. The continent’s banks were responsible for more than 80% of all AI research published by the industry last year, while Capital One and Bank of America dominated the AI ​​patent landscape and were responsible for two-thirds of all patents filed in the 12 months. Period ending in June 2022.

“There are a lot of foundations we can build on,” says Prem Natarajan, chief scientist and head of enterprise data and artificial intelligence at Capital One. “We’re in a great position to build on that story. But let’s be humble and recognize that this is now a new technology that, given its power, deserves its own respect in terms of taking a test-and-learn approach first.”

Last month, Capital One announced a partnership with Columbia University and committed $3 million to invest in an AI innovation center aimed at accelerating research, but doing so responsibly. “This transformation is going to be huge and the benefits will be enormous,” says Natarajan. “It’s okay. They’ll be around for a while. So let’s take our time to figure this out and get it right.”

Natarajan says Capital One’s approach is to first understand the various use cases the company can explore with generative AI and then determine what data it can control and that goes into the models. From there, Capital One figures out what it can build to test and learn, as well as mitigate any unforeseen outcomes.

“To begin with, we deliberately want to take a human-in-the-loop approach, so that things from the outside are never really exposed,” says Natarajan.

Visa recently introduced three new AI-powered fraud and risk prevention tools aimed at the payments company’s business customers. The company blocked $40 billion in fraud activity last year, almost double the previous year.

The new products will launch in the first half of 2024, Visa says, with tools including Visa Deep Authorization, which is a new risk scoring solution aimed at better managing payments made when a physical card is not present.

“We’re applying AI deep learning models and we’ve literally trained that model on millions and billions of transactions,” says Anthony Cahill, global head of value-added services at Visa. “We will give an informed view of a good payment or, for that matter, is it a payment that needs closer inspection?”

Last year, Visa announced a $100 million venture fund for generative AI startups, and chief product and strategy officer Jack Forestell said that while much of generative AI “has so far focused on tasks and content creation, this technology will soon not only reshape the way we live and work, but will also significantly change commerce in ways we must understand.”

Mastercard has also invested deeply in fraud prevention, spending $7 billion on cybersecurity over the past five years, including acquiring new technologies and developing artificial intelligence tools that make it easier to identify fraud. Mastercard has also invested in around 20 different startups to get a first look at emerging security tools the company might want to use to support future preparedness in the fight against fraud.

“Security permeates our business, from protecting the systems themselves to the new capabilities we are offering to our customers,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief technology officer at Mastercard.

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